Insiders know heís tops and
the outsideís getting word
By Tim Schuller
( from Buddy Magazine September 2002)
The Dallas label TopCat is receiving the most
enthusiastic industry response of its existence for Bust Out by Robin Sylar. Until
TopCat got hold of it, this CD by one of Texasí
best and strangest guitarists was a rumor.
You can use a lot of words to
describe Sylarís playing and still feel you havenít pegged him. You can say
that he plays straightup electric blues better most of those who specialize in
it. These days everyone and your Uncle Moe does a Hound Dog Taylor spot, few a tenth
as well as Sylar who was doing Hound Dog over a decade ago. Same with surf
guitar. Since Pulp Fiction scads of bands dug up Dick Dale, the Chantays, the Ventures. Sylarís been doing that forever.
This is Sylar's 2nd CD following up his
award winning debut Bust Out, and boy howdy, it's a hoot. Sylar handles guitar,
bass, lap steel, organ, piano, harmonica and vocals and is joined in the
endeavor by a great big old group of all stars. Fifteen tracks of wildcat hoop
hollering craziness. Yeah, we all remember Sylar from the Skulls and the Doyle
Bramhall Band, and of course, Krackerjack, which gets a footnote in the blues
history books for this among other reasons (seems there was this young cat in
the band by the name of Stevie Ray something). Okay, I'm full of bull. I don't
really remember him from the Doyle Bramhall Band. But it says it right there in
the liner notes so what are you going to do? But it's really Sylar's amazing
ability to jam the jazz that should be at the forefront of your brain as you
listen to this great new CD.
There are some great choices on board
this collection. Check out Sylar tricking out "Iko Iko" or his incredibly
delicious take on the Willie Dixon tune "Can't Judge A Book". Sylar puts his own
distinct mark on each of the songs, making them his own. The original tunes are
rocking as well. Check out "Surf Puppy". Sylar turns out a smoking version of
the Rolling Stones tune "Heart of Stone" as well as a killer rendition of the
Carman surf standard "Pipeline". There is a wonderful cover of "Sugar Bee" as
well as the song that I can no longer hear without wanting to belt Quentin
Tarantino in his big ugly mutant chin, "Misirlou". Sylar almost makes me want to
forget the association!
Truth be known, this disc is a lot of
fun. It's powerful and energetic. It's dazzling. Sylar is an outstanding
performer and this CD proves it. Long board or short, catch the next big wave
out to your local record hut and snatch this puppy up. - Bill Fountain
July 2004 Southwest Blues
From Real Blues Magazine
Robin Sylar - Tricked Out
Yes, we ranted and raved about Sylar in RB #25 and now we have an opportunity to do it again and even louder than before. Wes Race's favorite Texas guitar slinger has a persona that one can compare with other slightly off-kilter geniuses like Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Thurman Valentine and Hasil Adkins but none of them ever picked up a guitar style that sounded like a cross between Link Wray and U.P Wilson. This is hillbilly roadhouse Blues at its' deranged (but serious!) best and I wish I could think of someone else who occupies that genre but Sylar is the onliest one that comes to mind.
Paint It Blue
Ft. Worth Weekly - Wednesday April 7, 2004
Robin Sylar filters musical sources through a pentatonic prism and arrives at originality.
By Ken Shimamoto
Robin Sylar is a madman. Or at least he plays like one.
The Texas axe-man's blues cred is impeccable: As a youth, he filled his
bucket from the same deep well of Delta water as Stevie Ray Vaughan and
even went toe-to-toe with SRV when both played together in the rock
outfit Krackerjack. After a spell on the West Coast and roadwork with
archetypal hippie blues-rockers Canned Heat, Sylar logged time in the
Millionaires with Doyle Bramhall in the late '70s, and, in '94, he
appeared on Bramhall's epochal Bird Nest on the Ground c.d. Sylar's
incendiary performances at the Keys Lounge on Westcreek have made
believers out of many blues skeptics. More to the point, he's just
released a new full-length, Tricked Out (on Dallas-based Topcat
Records), on which his left-of-center ideas and delivery clearly set
him apart from the pack of local bluesicians.